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Market Extra: Is Bank of Japan signaling that it’s running out of ammo?

The Bank of Japan on Friday disappointed investors by offering up a much smaller-than-expected round of additional stimulus while also announcing a review of its current policy measures, leading some observers to wonder whether policy makers fear they are running out of tools to stoke the Japanese economy.

“The message the BOJ is sending is not so much ‘whatever it takes’ as ‘monetary policy’s pretty much played out,’” said Kit Juckes, global macro strategist at Société Générale, in a note.

The Bank of Japan under Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda has been an aggressive buyers of bonds and equities. Its decision to implement negative rates earlier this year caught investors off-guard, but the move was seen backfiring as the Japanese yen failed to weaken.

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